Know it all

Does anybody else have a special folder in their email that they use to store nostalgia type emails? I do. I named mine “Here we go again”. I know some of you actually enjoy schmaltz. And I am sure those of you who do don’t consider it as such. My older sister (often exasperated by my consistent literal logic) would occasionally refer to me as “Mr Spock”. This was her way of letting me know that my insensitive, unemotional opinions and behavior were more suited to the planet Vulcan than to Earth. The first time I saw an email with all the animated graphics of 1950’s drive-in diners, and service station attendants checking the oil with a big grins on their faces I was properly amused. The next 55 or 60 times – not so much.
I loved growing up in America in the 1950’s. I had my 3 copper pennies for my school lunch milk, and my PBJ made by my loving Mother on white bread. Some of us still refer to that time as the “Leave it to Beaver” generation. Yeah, we watched that dopey kid and his older brother deal with the issues of life. Mrs. Cleaver (Beaver’s Mom) was always neatly dressed, and in heels, and pearls. My Mom could dress like that, but for daily chores like making lunches, mopping, and taking steaming hot water and an ice pick to the freezer she dressed down and left off the pearls.
wigwamOur TV was black and white. Took about 5 minutes to warm up before the picture or sound would appear. I was the remote control. Dad would say “Jeffrey, Sneak up there and turn up the volume.” Being a literal kid I actually did a very good Apache sneak. We got three stations. 3, 4 and 7. They all went off at midnight, but I didn’t know this because “lights out” would come by 8 o’clock. Never saw the test pattern, or the indian til I was much older.
170px-Acremeter_tube_testerDad fixed that TV when it was broken. When the sound went out – he took the back off, removed the three or 4 vacuum tubes that were in there and we went to the WigWam or the Piggly Wiggly. They had tube testers. He put the tubes in the tester one at a time til he found the bad one. We bought a replacement and took it home. Problem solved. Today we just throw the broken TV in the landfill, and buy a new one. Of course today TV’s don’t have tubes, and they don’t take 5 minutes to warm up. Do you remember when TV’s started coming on the market being advertised as “Instant On”? Yep, it was a major deal that you could turn the knob or hit the button and the TV picture and sound came out immediately. Eventually they took all the knobs and buttons off the front of the TV and gave you a wireless remote control. So if the batteries died in the remote, or it got lost in the sofa, or you absentmindedly put it in the refrigerator – your TV would be useless.
So, I guess I am questioning whether we are all better off for all our technological advancements. I’ve made a good living off of being a techno-geek. When I first started in computers there were no home computers. I know all of you reading this have a least one. Can we even remember what life was like without cell phones? I carried a pager for years. The pager would go off and I would have to find a phone to return the page. Sometimes that meant getting off the freeway and finding a pay phone. When was the last time you used a pay phone, saw a pay phone or had change to use a pay phone. They didn’t take plastic.
But having been the beneficiary of a technology today that didn’t exist until the early 1970’s I am grateful to God that he gave someone the impulse and the drive to discover a way to screen for colon cancer without having to get out a scalpel.
In every sense I believe all knowledge comes from God. He is, after all, all knowing.

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About tnman

I was born, then I was born again.
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